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Andrew Henderson

Founder of Nomad Capitalist and the world’s most sought-after expert on global citizenship.

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Living in Granada, Nicaragua: Colonial Charm for Retirees

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Not Granada, Spain. Granada, Nicaragua.

The second poorest country in Central America, Nicaraguan, was associated for a long time with its long-running Revolution and the Contra War.

Nowadays, things are very different here, and despite its persistent poverty level, Nicaragua maintains a relatively stable government.

Once the war ended, Nicaragua evolved into a thriving tourist destination, with many expats now living in Granada, its epicenter.

Outdoor enthusiasts ventured out to the country’s lakes and volcanoes. History lovers and photographers explored Granada’s cathedrals, cobblestone streets, and Colonial architecture.

Some tourists turned into permanent residents. Although some may still have reservations or prefer to follow the likes of Costa Rica, Granada is also worth considering. 

Are you thinking about moving to Nicaragua or starting a business there? 

At Nomad Capitalist, we help entrepreneurs and investors keep more of their wealth and create a Plan B for turbulent times. We’ve helped 1000+ high-net individuals go where they’re treated best by creating bespoke holistic strategies, and we can help you too. Contact us today or apply to become a client online. 

Granada Cultural Heritage

In 1524, Spanish conquistador Francisco Hernández de Córdoba founded the first “European” city in the Americas.

He called it “Granada,” giving it the same name as the ancient city in Spain. Thanks to its Moorish and Andalusian ambiance, some people refer to Granada as La Gran Sultana.

These historic features, as well as its spectacular location along Lake Nicaragua, are Granada’s main selling points.

Although its proximity to Miami attracts expats who want to stay close to family, Granada looks nothing like Miami. 

For many, this is a good thing.

While high-rise buildings are popping up all over Latin America, Granada has managed to keep up its Colonial charm.

Colorful, clay-roofed casitas line the pedestrian-friendly streets. In fact, purchasing and restoring Colonial homes is a viable business opportunity in Granada, Nicaragua.

Buying and Renting in Granada, Nicaragua

The Global Property Guide notes that US expats have purchased and renovated around 50 percent of the Spanish Colonial homes in Granada.  

As such, the market for Colonial homes is somewhat inflated. Large, furnished Spanish Colonial homes with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms are selling at $350,000 to $900,000.

Anything priced under $100,000 will require substantial renovation. Renovation costs run from more than $50,000, and of course, this will vary depending on the property. 

If you want to test the waters before you buy, rentals range from $350 to $650. Depending on your lifestyle, expats can get by on a monthly income of $1,000 to $2,000.

So what draws people to Granada, Nicaragua?

Some claim the city offers investors and renters the best of both worlds.

Although Granada oozes Colonial charm, the city boasts modern conveniences such as reliable Internet, telephone service and utilities, state-of-the-art fitness centers, health food stores, and upscale gourmet restaurants.

On top of that, the government offers enticing incentives for moving here.

Retiring to Nicaragua

In order to compete with other Central American countries, the Nicaraguan National Assembly initiated Decree 694. Under this decree, expats age 45 or older are eligible for the particular benefits.

In addition, under the decree, the government offers special incentives for expats wishing to invest in Nicaragua.

A retired couple could enjoy a very comfortable lifestyle with just $2,000 per month, including a nice, furnished home.

The potential reward for living in Nicaragua or investing in real estate as a future home is a relatively good option.

One potential downside for retirees looking for a Plan B retirement location is that expats are prohibited from working in any industrial or commercial activity or holding a job paid in local currency.

Thankfully, your options are not limited to Nicaragua. Costa Rica and Belize also offer great options for retirees looking for the perfect location to live in luxury and security.

Should Expats Move to Costa Rica or Belize?


Doing Business in Nicaragua

Once the country started to enjoy more peaceful circumstances, policymakers introduced free-market reforms that privatized formerly state-run businesses.

At the time, the government launched an initiative to encourage foreign investment. Investors and expats from the United States and Europe, along with the government of Spain, purchased run-down historic buildings and converted them into new homes, rental properties, and businesses.

Seeing the advances in tourism that Costa Rica enjoyed, Nicaragua enacted a progressive tax incentive law in 1999 in an effort to boost foreign and local investment in its tourism sector. As with other countries in the region, Nicaragua is becoming a more globally competitive marketplace open to international business. 

Nicaragua is a relatively tax-friendly country in Central America. In order to live there, you will need a residence permit which comes at a relatively low cost. 

A Nicaraguan passport is a great Plan B, with a lot of travel freedoms, allowing you visa-free travel to Ireland, the UK, and all over Europe. 

Are you looking for a quiet, ultra-laid-back beach town to retire to? 

Contact us at Nomad Capitalist to learn more about how we can help you plan your second citizenship or investment opportunities in Latin America and globally. 

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